NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were trimming gains made earlier Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 broke their five-day streak of record highs, as initial jobless claims last week increased slightly.
Jobless claims rose to 290,000, the highest since mid-September, compared to the 280,000 expected by economists. Though only a week-by-week measure, the data contrasts with recent releases which showed a tightening job market.
Dow futures added 0.13%, S&P futures climbed 0.11%, and Nasdaq futures popped 0.2%.
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European markets were moving cautiously higher after tumbling more than 1% on Wednesday after the Bank of England cut growth forecasts through to 2016. Leading stocks higher, Merck KGaA (MKGAY) upped its full-year sales guidance while Paris-based Alstom (ALSMY) increased its share buyback program.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) agreed to buy Procter & Gamble's (PG) Duracell battery business in a deal that includes $1.7 billion in cash and about $4.7 billion in P&G stock currently held by the billionaire investor's holding company.
Walmart (WMT) shares were up by 2% after the retailer beat analysts' estimates in its third quarter and raised its earnings guidance for the full year.
Things weren't so bright at Kohl's (KSS) which reported comparable-store sales down 1.8% in its quarter. Shares were falling 2.4% in premarket trading.
Shares of Twitter (TWTR) were gaining 2% premarket, continuing to benefit from the social media company's analyst day on Wednesday where it outlined its plan to attract new users, including the release of new mobile apps.
J.C. Penney (JCP) shares were down 7% after the retail chain posted a quarterly net loss of 77 cents a share, 3 cents narrower than analysts expected. Cisco (CSCO) shares were losing more than 2% after issuing a disappointing sales forecast.
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--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.